By Mikuni Tsukasa
The foxy me.
Holding the fort, commence.
Children are the enemy.
The one-eyed knight.
The Vice-Captain feeds the fox.
Female Knight Tina.
The tragedy of the fox cub and the unmanageable clothes.
The icy Branch Captain.
Free time in the lounge.
Mr. Branch Captain’s secret face.
At the northern fort
Proof of trust.
Child of flame.
Lots of guardians.
Mil’s Mental Diary
The foxy me.
Back in my previous life when I was still living as a Japanese person, I had once heard a certain urban legend.
A newly moved parent and child were going shopping. But because they weren’t familiar with the area, the mother stopped, lost.
But at that moment, the one that told her the way to the shops was her child who wasn’t even 5 yet.
“We need to cross the traffic lights over there, and then make a right. I know this street.”
Of course, this was the first time he had come to this place. There was no way he could have known it.
But the reality was that the shop was just where the child had said.
Though surprised, the mother followed his directions, and as they were crossing the traffic lights, the boy muttered in a low, mature voice,
“I… was killed by a car here in my past life.”
Gyahh!! I thought, when I first heard that scary story.
But right now I’m not in the position to be afraid. As to why, that’s because right now I’m in the same situation as the child in that story.
――I other words, I’ve been born again with my past life’s memories still in my head.
But I’m not a human in this life.
I was staring at a padded hand covered in white fur. No, a padded paw, rather.
Peering into the frozen spring in front of me, I saw myself reflected on the ice.
I sighed. No matter how many times I looked at myself, I wasn’t a human.
Right now I was a fox pup, with silver-white fur like the colour of snow. Strictly speaking, I was rounder than the fox pups I knew of, there was fluffy fur around my neck like a muffler, and even my tail was probably 9 tenths fur.
If I curled myself up, I would probably look like a ball of fluff lying around.
But the reason I looked this silly might have been because I was living in a snowy mountain. The fur was like a natural coat. Even though I was in the middle of snowy winds on a sub-zero mountain, I was completely fine after all.
And the other reason that I was good with the cold was because I wasn’t just a normal fox.
According to my mother in this life, our species is categorised as a type of 『spirit』. In other words, far from being a human, I’m not even an animal.
Apparently we’re snow spirits that take the form of foxes, but I don’t know much more than that.
Mother has no idea that I have memories of my past life, so she probably didn’t tell me anything complicated because she thought of me as a child.
Right now I’m still young, and it’s unfortunate to say that just like human babies, I can’t speak.
No matter how hard I try, the best I can manage is “kyun kyun”.
I let out my second sigh for today.
Even my sighs don’t sound like “hahh” and instead go “kyun”. It’s kind of stupid sounding, so I don’t like it. There’s no feeling of being depressed to it.
And at that moment, I saw a small fish in the spring.
My ears pricked up, and I stepped down onto the thick, frozen surface of the water. My squishy paws were too weak, so I knew that I couldn’t break the ice to catch the fish.
But no matter what, I couldn’t help myself.
In my past life, I died at the young age of 18, and it’s been about a year since I was reborn here. In other words, if you count things simply then I should be mentally close to 20 already, but occasionally I get drawn into behaviours that match my body’s age, and animal nature.
When I see things that move, I feel like chasing them, and I can’t stop myself.
It’s embarrassing to say, but sometimes I even chase my tail without realising it, and run about in circles.
I chased after the small fish under the ice, and ran around with a pitter patter. The ice was slippery, and I fell about once every five steps. Because my childish head was too big, I found to hard enough to run steadily on solid ground, to say nothing of the ice.
As though sneering at me, the small fish continued to quickly swim here and there.
Damnit, damnitt! I want that fish so bad.
Becoming stubborn, I began scratching at the ice when,
“What on earth are you doing in a place like this, Milfiria?”
from behind me, I heard a woman’s dignified and clear voice. Milfiria is my name in this life.
Forgetting about the fish for an instant and turning around, I found a beautiful fox of about a metre tall, staring my way with its light blue eyes.
It was Mother.
Letting out a high-pitched cry, I ran up to mother, and nuzzled my head against her forelegs.
“The sun is about to set. It is time to return home, my beloved child.”
Unlike me, Mother can speak. I wonder if I’ll be able to speak too once I grow up.
Gently biting the scruff of my neck, Mother lifted me up. She walked atop the hardened snow towards our home.
Our home is a cave near the peak of this snowy mountain. The wind doesn’t blow in, so there’s no worry of getting buried in while we sleep either.
Mother continued into the back of the cave and put me down, before closing her eyes as though concentrating.
And in the next moment, the figure of the large white had fox disappeared, and in its place was a peerless beauty with clear, white skin.
She had long and glossy silver-white hair, and around her neck was a white fur muffler. That isn’t fox fur, right?
Wearing an outfit like a Japanese kimono with a somewhat Chinese essence to it, she gave the impression of being a somewhat flashy yukionna.
The breast of the kimono was opened a great deal, and a splendid ravine was visible. Although she’s my mother, I have to say that it’s quite an amazing chest she has. By all means let it be hereditary.
Indeed. It was Mother in her humanoid form. Although she spends a lot of time in her fox form while in front of me, there are 『certain times』 when she always becomes humanoid.
Those 『certain times』 are when Mother goes down to town.
“Milfiria, I need a few words with you.”
In the same beautiful voice as her fox form, Mother called out to me.
Holding the fort, commence.
“I must have you watch our home by yourself for a while.”
In a pleasant, song-like voice, Mother spoke to me.
Hearing that I would have to watch the house, my ears and bushy tail drooped. This body is too honest.
“The truth is I have been summoned by the King, you see. …I spoke to you of the King earlier, did I not? He governs this Kingdom of Aridora, and is the most high ranked amongst the humans.”
I had been taught before that this country was apparently a monarchy. And that Mother was 『cooperating』 with that King.
Spirits are fundamentally fond of the humans that live on the same land as them, and sometimes help them.
For example in wars and stuff, the spirits that live in Aridora will help the Aridoran humans.
They hate when strangers──humans from other countries, noisily intrude on their land, after all.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that all spirits will actively cooperate with the humans. There are some that think that humans should solve their own problems, but on that point, Mother is cooperative.
“Lately there has been trouble brewing with the neighbouring nation, you see. Until matters settle down, I shall be by their side. That one is quite likeable as far as humans go. I have been watching him since he was a child, after all, and it would be a pity to let him die.”
“It pains me to leave you alone when you have not even been born for a year yet, although I am also hesitant to bring you with me to the Capital. It is a maelstrom of human ambition and desire after all. There are also those who would seek to make the power of a spirit their own. It is a poisonous place to one pure as you.”
That can’t be… I’m not pure at all, so take me with you.
I’m stained with desire too.
“I shall return in one month, so endure until then.”
Hearing Mother’s smooth words, I doubted my ears. To think that I would have to stay here by myself for a whole month.
Mother had gone to the King before, but she would always come back after a day at most.
Kyun kyun, I cried as I clung to Mother’s leg. Leaving an infant alone for a whole month… That’s neglect. Abuse!!
Mother spoke to me with a troubled expression.
“I had thought that you had some oddly mature parts to you, but you truly are still a child. But as one who will inherit the name Snowlea, you must live more strongly. Live without relying on your mother for this month, and fix that cowardly nature of yours.”
Snowlea is apparently the name that each generation of our clan inherits, and is Mother’s current name.
Mother is usually gentle, but when it comes to upbringing, she believes in being Spartan, and rather than having me brought up girly and gentle, she apparently prefers for me to grow up strong and tough.
There was even one time when she told me “Climb up from the bottom.” before dropping me off a cliff. If I wasn’t a spirit, I would’ve died.
“Well then, try your best, Milfiria, my beloved child.”
Mother gave my fluffy head a kiss, before a small blizzard seemed to rise from the ground and wrapped her up. When it was gone, so was her figure.
She left for the castle with the King.
Wahhhh, Mother you jerrkkk!
It’s impossible for an infant like me to live by myself for a monthhh!
I gave a resentful cry, but thinking about it calmly, it actually doesn’t seem that difficult.
As a spirit, I don’t feel hungry, and I can survive even without eating anything. That’s why I don’t particularly have to hunt.
The other problem is outside invaders, but it’s never seemed to be a problem before. Reason being that it’s too cold on the summit where we live, and there are almost no animals here.
When it comes to large carnivores, occasionally a non-hibernating bear called a snow bear will come along, but we’re spirits, and they’ve never attacked us before. Animals are sharp, so they apparently know by instinct that we’re a different dimension of being to them.
In other words, I have no enemy animals on this snowy mountain, and even if I fail at hunting, there’s no worry of starving to death.
If it’s just a month then even the young me can survive without problems.
Geeez, isn’t that easy then?
It was only for a few months, but I lived by myself in my past life as well, so it’s just the same thing. Easy peasy.
Or so I was thinking and getting cocky, but I had totally forgotten that when I moved out by myself for university, I fell homesick on the very first day.
Suddenly waking up in the middle of the night and realising that Mother wasn’t by my side, I somehow felt terribly forlorn. The cave that we were using as our den was quiet, and the silence hurt my ears. Snow was falling heavily outside.
I closed my eyes to sleep again, but my restless feelings kept me awake. It’s lonely living by myself in a mountain like this.
Getting up and leaving the cave, I cried into the air. It was the cry that I used for calling Mother, and was higher pitched than normal. There was a trick to putting lots of grief into it as well.
Normally when I get lost in the mountains and I cry out with this voice, Mother always comes to pick me up.
But this time, no matter how many times I continued to cry, Mother wouldn’t come to greet me.
Even the time when I had been tossed off a cliff for training, when I cried like this, Mother had said “Honestly, what a hopeless child.” and picked me up.
Being by myself for a whole month really is too muchh!
There aren’t any attackers, and I won’t starve either, but I’ll die from being lonely.
But right now Mother is in the capital, and no matter how loudly I cry, she won’t come back.
In that case――
I’ll follow Mother to the capital.
If I make it to the King’s castle by my own strength, Mother will be surprised and praise me for my toughness.
Now that I’ve made up my mind, it’s time to head down the mountain.
With my tail up high, I left the cave behind, powered by vigour alone.
Children are the enemy.
I woke up with a start to find that it was morning.
It was great that I set out on a journey to Mother’s side, but I was still too young in this life. My body wasn’t moving the way I wanted and every few hundred metres of plodding along, I would tire out and fall asleep.
Children will sometimes play like crazy and then suddenly fall asleep like their batteries run flat, but my situation was exactly like that. Although, as an adult on the inside, I’m a little embarrassed about this.
I shook my body to fling off the snow that built up while I was sleeping. It had been layered on quite heavily.
And then renewing my determination, I decided that today for sure I would reach the bottom of the mountain.
Although having said that, the distance I took with each step was terrifyingly short.
Even when I ran until I panted wafuwafu, my progress was trifling. Can I cry already?
After all, the scenery has been completely white the whole time, and far from reaching the Capital, I won’t even leave this mountain at this rate. I have to run more frantically.
This is me being frantic you know. I’m trying my best you know.
But because of my appearance, a happy-go-lucky sound effect accompanies me no matter what I do.
It’s been a year since I was born. Have I ever more keenly realised the shortness of my limbs?
The time it took me to descend the mountain and leave the surrounding forest was a total of fifteen days.
…That’s half of Mother’s trip already.
Right now I had left the forest and was walking along a small path that led to a human town. My spirits were a lot lower than when I had triumphantly left home.
The only good thing was that my muscles weren’t hurting at all, despite all the running I did. I did get fatigued each day, but it would reset with a night’s sleep.
Even right this moment, I was only tired from the running I did today. Is this resilience because I’m a spirit?
According to Mother, the mountain we’re living on is at in northernmost part of the country, while the Capital is in the middle. Even in winter, there isn’t much snow there, and it’s a comparatively warmer place.
But right now I’m still in the middle of a snow field. If I’ve only made it this far after fifteen days, maybe it’s impossible to reach the Capital.
Although I was closer and closer to giving up, I continued to walk. And while I did, I finally reached a fork in the road.
To the right spread a human town. It was my first time coming down the mountain to a human settlement, so I was watching the town with great interest.
The place gave the atmosphere of somewhere in ancient Europe, and the townscape was built in a Western style. I heard that the town was large, and there were lots of people too, but it was cold here and there was lots of snow, so it gave me a calm and quiet impression. Everybody was probably holed up in their warm homes.
After having a look over the town, this time I turned to the left.
There was a massive building of some sort, but because it was boring and undecorated, I suspected it was a military facility like a base, stronghold or fort of some kind.
Does this country have a military too? I wonder if they’re knights like in fantasy stories.
I stood still at the forked road, unsure of where to do.
Two young children were approaching from town, and when they caught sight of me, they started running this way.
Just who is ‘Wanwa’. So rude.
Just as I had registered the girl and boy happily running towards me, in the next moment, gyuuu, they hugged me without hesitation.
Ugwohh… I’m begging you, please be a little gentler. Various things that aren’t supposed to are going to come out of my mouth.
I get it. Wanwa gets it.
With their Western faces, the two children were as cute as angels, but they were quite strong. They tugged at my fur, and tugged at my tail, and I couldn’t help but let out pathetic kyunkyun noises.
I’ve even lost to children?
But it isn’t as though these children are hurting me on purpose, so I couldn’t even bite at them to resist.
While grimacing in the midst of this battlefield──it was easily a battlefield for me──just as I was wondering how to escape, a saviour appeared with wonderful timing.
“Alt, Mine, where are youuu?”
The female voice came from the direction of the town, probably belonging to their mother. The children immediately turned that way and relaxed their hands.
Unwilling to let this chance go, I immediately ran away. In the exact opposite direction of the children.
Like a white bullet, I sped across the snow.
…I’m sorry for lying. The truth is I just toddled and tumbled away.
After hiding in a bush, I turned around to have a look and found that the mother had finally arrived as the children were looking at me in disappointment.
“Time to go home.”
With her children in hand, the mother brought them back to their warm house.
Aahh, how nice. I miss Mother as well.
Who would guess that this spoiled fox was actually almost an adult in her previous life. I think my mind really is being pulled down to my body’s age after all.
I was a little bit more together in my past life… at least, I should have been…
Now then, it’s about time to leave the bush.
Stepping out, I began to think.
Those children are still in town, so I don’t really want to go there. From now on I need to watch out for any children that sprint my way with a smile. Children are cute, innocent, and terrifying beings.
Since I no longer had the option of going into town, I began heading down the left path.
I walked as far as the menacing fortress, and looked for an entrance I could use to enter. This place is probably a division of this country’s knights or military or whatever. I’m sure there’s going to be heaps of people here who know the way to the Capital.
Although the problem is, given that all I can do is make pathetic “kyunkyun” noises, I don’t know how exactly I’m supposed to ask them.
But well, everything in life begins with a try.
For now I was going to head inside, so I slipped through a crack in the surrounding fence.
Although my head got stuck in the fence, I somehow managed to squeeze through and I made my way inside. The place was large, and if I walked about at random I would probably get lost.
I sniffed the air, and looked for a place that smelt of people. Given that it was a military base, the place was filled with the scent of males. It was very different from mother, who smells sweet and fragrant.
The paths that people used had the snow shovelled off them, so I just followed them. Eventually, it opened up into a clearing of sorts. Kind of like a snowy sports ground.
I found dozens of people gathered in one of the corners, so for the moment I hid in the shadow of a building.
I then once again slowly poked my head out. They were apparently doing sword training, and even though it was so cold, they weren’t wearing coats or anything. There were probably other people working or doing other training, so maybe these people were only a fraction of all the people living in this base. After all, compared to the size of the building, there were too few people here.
Everyone had a sword in one hand, but the only people swinging their swords were the two in the middle.
“You’re being too timid. You think you’re fit to be a knight with guts like those?”
A strict-looking superior was scolding them harshly, as he watched the two match swords.
Since there weren’t any ‘knights’ in my old life, I got just a little excited.
The superior man had short grey hair, and a fearless face. He was tall and muscular, and had a well-maintained figure, like a boxer. He probably like 3% body fat.
Not only that, but what stood out most was the big scar on his face. It ran down the left side of it, from the forehead to his chin. It was like a sword cut right down, and because of that his left eye was scarred.
While I was staring at the one-eyed knight from the shadows, without any warning, he suddenly turned my way.
We were pretty far apart, so I never thought he’d notice me, but the moment our eyes met my fur stood right up and I jumped back into the shadows.
His right eye shot right through me. Why did he notice me. I didn’t move or make a sound at all.
It can’t be that he noticed my gaze? Was it because I boldly stared at him?
The man showed no signs of heading my way. I could still hear the metal swords clashing, and the training seemed to continue without incident.
After getting my breathing under control and calming down a little, I stuck my head out to have just one more lo──
──ok, oh he’s still looking this way.
HE’S STILL LOOKING THIS WAYY!
This time our gazes definitely met, so I turned my body around and ran right out of there. As my feet hit the ground, soft snow flew up. Moving my short legs, I ran for a few dozen metres before slowing down to take a corner. It’s fine, nobody is chasing me.
Around the time that I sighed in relief, I calmed down and realised that there was no reason I actually had to run.
To begin with, I came in here because I wanted to ask somebody for the way to the Capital. I haven’t figured out how to ask when I can’t talk though.
Anyway, I really need to make contact with the humans or else nothing will ever begin. What am I going to do if I run away just from eye-contact. I was a human too, in my past life. I know full well that humans aren’t just walking masses of cruelty. There’s no reason to run.
I took a step forward after gathering my courage.
But when I saw a few knights walking from afar, I immediately curled my tail and hid in the shadow of a staircase.
Like you said, I might be a bit cowardly.
Actually, now that I’m this small, a human is actually shockingly big to me. Seeing them up close is pretty scary.
Not only that, but I don’t even know how the humans of this world would react to me. What if they caught me and killed me, and then skinned me for my fur.
Since I look just like a small fox cub, what if they didn’t realise I was a snow spirit. And if they did notice, what would they do? I don’t think anybody would attack me, but…
Anyway, the point is that it’s scary not knowing what they’d do to me. Would it be safer for me if I acted like a normal fox, or would it be safer for me if I really brought out my “snow spirit-ness”? Umumu…
I was thinking seriously about the issue, but a wave of sleepiness started to wash over me. I spent all day moving about after all, and I had a really rough time with those horrid children too.
It’s almost evening now, and even though there’s some time left until sunset, I should probably start sleeping now.
I gave a large yawn――since I’m in this kind of body, I couldn’t do a pretty little yawn with my hand over my mouth. It was a bold yawn with my teeth completely bare―and then I began sneaking around looking for a place to spend the night.
I walked about the base, careful not to bump into any humans, and in the end I decided on the back of what seemed like a barracks or dormitory for the knights. It wasn’t all that spacey, but there were some short trees here and there. I bet once spring comes, the lawn will pop up from beneath the melted snow.
It didn’t seem like people would often come here, and there weren’t any markings by stray cats or anything either.
There was a shed in the raw corner of this back courtyard, and it seemed almost forgotten, so I decided that I was going to sleep there. Maybe the door had been broken, because I couldn’t see one anywhere.
Inside, it was small enough that maybe even an adult couldn’t lay down here. The only things inside were snow shovels. Since there was no door, a little snow had blown inside, but it was no issue to a living fluffball like myself.
I entered the shed and then curled up into a ball.
If I had to name one worry, I suppose it would be that the whole shed was visible from a dorm window. The opening to the shed was completely in-line with it.
But once the sun sets, the place will be blanketed in darkness. It’ll be pitch black in here too, and even if somebody looked out the window, maybe they wouldn’t see me?
With my eyes closed, I thought about it casually with one foot into the land of nod… ZZZ…
The one-eyed knight.
My ears twitched at the sound of a window opening. But I was still sleepy, so my eyes wouldn’t open.
In my half-awake mind, I dimly thought “The windows in my old life opened a lot more smoothly huh.”
I wonder if the frame is wooden.
Maybe you guys should oil it a little.
I opened one eye.
There was a person by the window, opposite the shed I was sleeping in. The window was wide open, and he was looking through it.
──Staring. Right this way.
I immediately woke up. Bolting to my feet, I stared right back at him. I could tell that my hairs were standing on end.
It’s that one-eyed knight.
…Could that be your room?
There was a lamp in the room, but the light leaked through the window and illuminated my body.
OH MY GAH.
Who was it! Who was it that said that I’d be hidden once the sun set! He can probably see every hair!
Maybe he had gotten back and was already relaxing, because he was wearing a lot less now. Umu, he really does have great muscles.
As I stood in the shed, and he in his room, the two of us watched each other without moving.
The atmosphere is getting kind of tense. I could feel a nervous sweat forming at my paw pads.
At that moment, the one-eyed knight suddenly placed his foot against the window frame, and then -don- landed lightly on the ground.
His one good eye pierced through me, and his boots began to crush the snow as he made his way to me.
With my escape route blocked, I fell into a huge panic, and then because he was closing the distance, I panicked even more. There was only a metre between us now.
The light from his room was illuminating him, but because it was a backlight, his face was obscured and it made him all the more terrifying. It’s a bit mean to say this, but he had a scary face to begin with.
After a moment of silence, his arm stretched towards me, and I screamed “GYAHH!” in my mind. In reflex, I kicked off the ground and moved back.
But this shed is tiny. When I jumped back, I crashed into all the shovels.
And then the loud sounds of the crash surprised me, and sent me further into a panic. The shovels fell to the ground noisily, and I became so confused I had no idea what was up or down anymore. I jumped and flailed about, and even stepped on my own tail and tripped.
His palm reached out for me again. It was about the size of my face, and there were small scars and calluses from practising the sword. This man is probably really strong.
On the other hand, I’m powerless. Mother can use blizzards to freeze her enemies, but that kind of thing is still impossible for me.
What am I going to do if One-Eyed Knight wants to kill me? What if those hands strangle my neck?
It’s the end for me if he catches me.
When I realised this, the battle instincts I didn’t know I had surged out from within.
You think I’ll let you catch me?
Get the enemy before he gets you first!
My fangs were bared before I realised, and I bit into his hand. A low growl escaped my throat.
I thought he would retaliate, but he stayed still down to his expression.
Since he wasn’t reacting at all, I gradually grew calmer. I stopped growling, and then let go of him in a fluster. I could faintly taste blood on my tongue.
When he slowly stood up, I froze with a start, but he just said,
“Sorry for scaring you,”
and then left the shed.
With my escape route open again, I quickly ran outside, and then took a certain distance from him. I stared his way, all four legs poised to run at any time.
My heart was hammering away, but I was a little calmer now.
What do I do? I bit his hand. I didn’t think I had such a feral part to me.
Apparently it was a finger on his right hand that I had bitten, because it was bleeding just a little.
My canines are small and thin. Not only that, but my jaws don’t have much biting power, so as far as I could tell his injuries were light.
But it’s quite a shock to me that I could hurt somebody like this. I could feel my ears and tail drooping.
“Kyunkyun,” I cried, as I tried asking if it hurt.
“Somebody’s gotten meek all of a sudden.”
One-Eyed Knight smiled lazily at my attitude change. Paying no heed to his injuries, he came my way.
Awawa, don’t come over here!
I ran away again. And after taking enough distance that I could feel safe again, I stopped and turned around.
Each time he frowned and came my way again, I would run away the same distance. We repeated this again and again, and maintained the same distance.
“What the hell…” muttered One-Eyed Knight.
I don’t get it either, okay. I’m sorry about biting, and I want to apologise about that, but when you close in on me, it’s still scary and I get nervous.
The human in me judged that One-Eyed Knight wasn’t a bad person.
He has a scary face, but he doesn’t mean me any harm. Maybe he means to shelter me.
But the fox in me kept thinking “You can’t trust him so easily,” and stayed on guard.
Until I’m absolutely sure that he’s safe, the fox me is going to keep a distance.
While I was watching him, he turned back and headed back to his room.
I sat down on the spot and watched him leave.
Did he maybe lose interest in me? I’m not sure if I’m relieved, or lonely about that.
He returned through his window, and didn’t show his face for a while. Maybe he was treating the bite wound.
I’m a spirit, so I don’t think I’ll give him diseases, but he probably thinks I’m an animal, and I guess he would need to be careful to sterilise it.
If I could talk, then I could apologise…
Fifteen minutes passed without incident, so I decided it was time to get closer to his room. The window was still wide open.
When I looked inside from the shade of a tree, I found that One-Eyed Knight had some kind of plate in hand, and once again showed up by the window.
I stretched my neck because I was curious about the plate.
When I did, I found that I could smell something appetising. There were a few small balls of meat on the plate. Meatball with sauce, it seemed.
My stomach growled. Even though I shouldn’t need any food as a spirit, my human self knew that the food would probably be yummy. When I imagined how it would taste, my tummy suddenly felt empty.
Sometimes I see Mother drinking alcohol, so I should be okay eating human food, right?
Lured by the smell, I tottered over to the window.
Aah, it smells good.
It smells really good.
I looked at the meatballs in One-Eyed Knight’s hand, and gulped.
Mother tells me “Spirits don’t need food,” but sometimes she brings me mice as “snacks”.
But I still have my thoughts as a human. How could I look at a mouse with its eyes rolled back and think “Wow, looks delish!”? I always shake my head and let Mother have them.
Since we live on a mountain, Mother always brings me dying animals as “snacks”. Thanks to that, I guess I misunderstood and thought that I had no appetite. I might not have ever seen human food since coming to this world.
But now, with this meal in front of me, the longing for it was unbearable. Drool was running from my half-open mouth.
I forgot about my fear for him, and ran over with my tail wagging.
But the window was too high for me, and I couldn’t reach the food. Aah, damnit. It’s so close. I placed my front legs against the wall, and let out heartbroken cries as I stood on my two hind legs.
Seeing this, One-Eyed Knight went back inside, and brought three wooden boxes from somewhere. I took a few steps back in wonder.
Leaning out of the window, he dropped them onto the ground. Using the three boxes, he created a crude staircase for me.
And on the second step, closer to the window, he placed the plate down for me.
In joy, I jumped onto the first step. But just as I was about to take a bite, Wait a minute, I thought, and looked right up.
Standing at the window was One-Eyed Knight, watching me from up close.
He probably didn’t mean to, but I felt really pressured by his grey eye and hair. Maybe because his eyes were sharp, it felt like he was glaring at me.
Meeting his gaze from so close, I felt my body freeze. As I felt regret at the smell of the food, I went down the stairs and took a distance.
I want to eat. But being near him is scary.
I walked restlessly around the boxes. Unfortunately my nose is really good, so I could perfectly smell the fragrant meat and sauce.
I’d approach the food, but his eyes made me run, I’d approach the food, but his eyes made me run.
As I repeated this over and over, he gave a troubled smile aid said,
“Got it. I’ll leave, so take your time.”
With that, he really disappeared into the room, so after watching carefully for about a minute, I quickly leapt onto the box. While feeling moved about this taste from my old life, I gobbled down the food. Yummyyyy.
The 5 bite-sized meatballs quickly disappeared, but it was more than enough to fill my little stomach.
After licking the sauce off the plate, careful not to step on the plate, I placed my forelegs against the window and peeked in.
In the plain, undecorated room, One-Eyed Knight was sitting on his bed and polishing a sword. I was still worried about the bite I left, so I stared carefully at his hands.
It looked like he had washed it, and all that was left were two red dots──marks from my teeth. It was just a small injury, but I was worried, and wondered if he wasn’t going to use a band-aid or something.
I called out in a small voice, and let him know that I was done.
“Did you eat it all?”
He put down his sword and stood up. And then when I jumped down from the box, he stretched out his arm through the window.
“You licked it clean, huh.”
Not a single stain could be seen on it.
“Where are you sleeping today?”
His tone was soft and gentle. It was comforting, listening to his low voice. Was he worried about me?
I went into the shed with the fallen shovels to answer him. There’s probably nowhere better.
“I’ll get rid of the shovels for you tomorrow.”
Seeing me find a spot between the shovels, he laughed.
Closing the window, the quiet night returned. But if I listened carefully, I could hear the sounds of floorboards groaning, and doors opening and shutting.
Even though it’s scary when he’s too close, for some reason it makes me feel safe to know that he’s close-by.
Hearing the other knights inside the dorm helped the loneliness of having Mother gone. On the mountain top, not even an animal could be seen, I felt like I was the only one in the world, and it was terribly lonely.
Because I have memories of my old life, I’m different to both a proper animal and a proper spirit.
I guess I really feel most relaxed around humans.
Resting my shin on a fallen shovel, I fell into a deep dream.
The Vice-Captain feeds the fox.
Female Knight Tina.
The tragedy of the fox cub and the unmanageable clothes.
The icy Branch Captain.
Free time in the lounge.
Mr. Branch Captain’s secret face.
At the northern fort
Proof of Trust.
Child of flame.
Lots of guardians.
ty for help cleaning one of the pictures, soli!